Data and Statistics about Food Security in Asia and the Pacific

Feature | 16 October 2012

How do you feed 9 billion people? The world is facing a perilous convergence of depleting natural resources - of water, good land, energy, nutrients, technology, fish and stable climates. This phenomenon is happening as the world's population is projected to increase by more than 2 billion between now and 2050, the majority of which will come from Asia.

Here's a look, by the numbers, of the key issues on food security facing Asia and the Pacific today.

1 billion: The approximate number of people in the world who are undernourished or lack enough caloric intake. Another 1 billion are malnourished, and still another billion are overweight or obese.
Source: FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012

2/3: Two-thirds of the world's one billion hungry reside in Asia and the Pacific.
Source: ADB and Agriculture

68%: Percentage of the world's underweight children living in Asia and the Pacific.
Source: ADB, Approaches to Combat Hunger in Asia and the Pacific

Nearly 30%: The figure by which undernourishment decreased in Asia and the Pacific in the past two decades, from 739 million to 564 million.
Source: FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012

3.5% to 38.5%: The annual increase in prevalence of overweight and obesity in women due to undernutrition from the 1990s through the mid-2000s in Bangladesh, Cambodia, PRC, India, Nepal, and Viet Nam.
Source: Popkin BM, Adair LS, Ng SW. Global nutrition transition and the pandemic of obesity in developing countries.

More than 50%: Asia's poor spend more than half of their income on food with nearly one-fifth spending more than 70%.
Source: ADB Operational Plan for Sustainable Food Security in Asia and the Pacific

2.2 billion: The number of people in Asia and the Pacific who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Source: ADB, Building Climate Resilience in the Agriculture Sector of Asia and the Pacific

50%: The percentage of population in Asia and the Pacific expected to be living in urban areas by 2026.
Source: ADB and Agriculture